London Nudges Drivers Toward Electric Cars

The city of London’s long-term plan is to make its streets more pleasant for pedestrians and users of electrified transportation.

The city center has been routinely exceeding European Union air quality standards for nearly 20 years, Bloomberg News reports. Mayor Sadiq Khan aims to make the 1.1 square-mile city within metropolitan London a carbon neutral zone within 30 years.

Deputy Mayor Shirley Rodrigues tells a Bloomberg conference that achieving the goal will require a switch to zero-emission vehicles and a far heavier reliance on mass transit. The mayor, she says, is “anti-pollution,” not “anti-cars.”

Khan, who took office in 2016, intends to impose zero-emission zones along heavily traveled roads by 2025. The city already has banned the licensing of diesel-powered versions of the iconic London black taxi. Since then, some 1,700 hybrid taxis have gone into service.

All-electric cars in London enjoy parking discounts and are exempt from the city’s usage restrictions and traffic congestion fees.